June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

There for each other


MEDINA — Considering Medina’s Alex Wasik and Taylore Urban’s impressive talent it’s hard to believe they are just first-year varsity gymnasts.

They have competed together at the club level since they were 5 years old but high school is a  different experience. There is less individual pressure and teamwork is key.

With Medina’s No. 1 performer and state veteran, Nicki Rymer, out of commission for most of the season with a back injury, the Bees needed a skilled competitor or two to step up and lead the way.

Luckily for Medina, it had Wasik, 15, and Urban, 16, to fill the gap.

“Alex and Taylore have both been our leading scorers on all events,” Medina coach Kathy Rymer said. “Alex tends to dominate the bars and Taylore dominates the floor. Both have played important roles in all-around because we use their scores on all four events.”

Wasik is first in Medina County in bars (9.25 points) and fourth in vault (8.65). Urban is third in floor (9.2), tied for fifth in beam (8.85) and fifth in bars (8.45).

Both girls hold top spots in the county in all-around. Wasik is fourth (35.0) and Urban is sixth (34.0).

Wasik has been the top girl for Medina since entering high school but filling Nicki’s shoes was difficult for the freshman.

“It’s really exciting,” Wasik said. “It was a little bit tough at the beginning of the season. It’s been hard to take Nicki’s spot because she is amazing. But we have a lot of help from our teammates.”

As a sophomore, Urban has also stepped up to put critical points on the board for the Bees.

“Taylore is amazing on the floor,” Wasik said. “I am strong on bars and vault. Our scores complement each other. We help each other out in everything. We are two peas in a pod.”

The bond the girls share is what makes them stronger competitors. They are the type of athletes who cheer each other on without being overly competitive.

“We are not competitive with each other,” Urban said. “She makes me want to be better. Watching her on bars and watching her get better scores than me, I am happy for her. It makes me want to do better. We are never jealous of each other. It’s a good thing.”

“We are just best friends,” added Wasik. “Everything that we do we are always together. … We have so many things in common it’s easy to be friends.”

Wasik and Urban have different personalities but their ambition and drive has helped them to be leaders for the  Medina team.

“Alex tends to be a happy-go-lucky kind of kid and she responds to competition very well,” Kathy Rymer said. “Taylore is a more serious person and is a very hard worker. She strives for perfection and will do a skill over and over again until she gets it just right.”

It has been easy for the two gymnasts to feed off each others energy. The rest of the Medina squad has picked up on their vibes and it shows. The Bees have put together a 8-5 record.

“I think we have been doing really well,” Urban said. “I think in a few years we can get stronger and do bigger and better things. I think we are doing great.”

Wasik agreed with her teammate.

“I think we have been very strong,” she said. “We help each other out. We cheer for each other and we are always there for each other.”

Kelly may be reached at skelly@ohio.net or 330-721-4042.

Rick Noland About Rick Noland

Rick Noland is the Cavs beat writer for The Gazette and the author of "Over Time," a compilation of stories he's written in more than 30 years as a journalist. He can be reached at 330-721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.